Posts Tagged ‘eyes’
We’ve shared a couple stories in the past month on how human eyes are very subjective and horrible as light meters, and here’s yet another mind-boggling example of how easily our eyes can be fooled by context. In the image above, the “blue” and the “green” stripes are exactly the same color.
(via Top Cultured)
What if in the future, the human eye itself could be turned into a camera by simply reading and recording the data that it sends to the brain? As crazy as it sounds, researchers have already accomplished this at a very basic level:
In 1999, researchers led by Yang Dan at University of California, Berkeley decoded neuronal firings to reproduce images seen by cats. The team used an array of electrodes embedded in the thalamus (which integrates all of the brain’s sensory input) of sharp-eyed cats. Researchers targeted 177 brain cells in the thalamus lateral geniculate nucleus area, which decodes signals from the retina. The cats were shown eight short movies, and their neuron firings were recorded. Using mathematical filters, the researchers decoded the signals to generate movies of what the cats saw and were able to reconstruct recognizable scenes and moving objects. [#]
Basically, the scientists were able to tap into the brain of a cat and display what the cat was seeing on a computer screen. Something similar was accomplished with humans a few years ago, and scientists believe that in the future we may even be able to “photograph” human dreams!
As the low-light capabilities of high-end (and even low-end) cameras rapidly improve, it’s easy to marvel at technology and forget how amazing our own eyes are, but here are some mind-boggling facts to consider: did you know that the human eye can detect as few as two photons entering the retina, and that, under ideal conditions, a healthy young adult can see a candle flame from 30 miles away? To see how mind-boggling that is, try using Google Maps to find a location 30-miles away from where you live.
According to neuroscientist Bradley Voytek, the reason we don’t utilize our full sensory potential is because we’re not paying enough attention to them — kinda makes you want to put down your camera and focus on staring at things, huh?